Gennady Golovkin is the hardest puncher and the most devastating fighter on Saturday’s six-bout card at The Forum. But he may not be the best boxer.
That honor could arguably go to unbeaten Nicaraguan flyweight Roman “El Chocolatito” Gonzalez, who will share the HBO broadcast portion of the card with Golovkin.
The Forum doors open at 4:30 p.m., with the first bout scheduled for 4:50.
Gonzalez (42-0 with 36 knockouts), the WBC world champion at 112 pounds, is ranked by Ring magazine as the fourth-best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, yet he will be making his HBO debut Saturday. The 27-year-old, fighting in the U.S. for just the fourth time in his career, has knocked out his last eight opponents, with his ninth-round TKO of Akira Yaegashi in September making him just the second Nicaraguan, after Hall of Famer Alexis Arguello, to capture world titles in three weight classes.
On Saturday he gets Mexican Edgar Sosa (51-8, 30 KOs), a 35-year-old former world light-flyweight champion who lost a unanimous decision to Yaegashi 18 months ago.
Meanwhile Golovkin (32-0, 29 KOs), the WBA and IBO middleweight champion, will face once-beaten Willie Monroe Jr. (19-1, 6 KOs) of Rochester, N.Y. Monroe comes from a boxing family since his father and great uncle were both former middleweight contenders.
Monroe, 28, has won his last nine fights but he’s never fought anyone like the Golovkin, a 33-year-old from Kazakhstan who has knocked out his last 19 opponents, giving him the highest knockout percentage of any middleweight champion in history.
Just twice has he had to fight beyond the eighth round – as a pro, he’s averaged only four rounds per bout -- and in nearly 400 amateur and professional fights he’s never even been knocked down.
The six-fight card also features a four-round female bout between unbeaten Seniesa Estrada (3-0, 1 KO) of Los Angeles and San Diego’s Carly Batey (4-2-2, 0 KOs). That fight is scheduled to go off at 5:15 p.m..
The first bout is a four-round lightweight matchup between Ruslan Madiyev (4-0, 2 KOs) -- who is from Golovkin’s hometown of Karaganda, Kazakhstan -- and Los Angeles’ Peter Haro (3-2, 1 KO).
Paramount’s Pedro Duran, unbeaten in 10 fights with seven knockouts, will face Tijuana’s Ali Gonzalez (6-6-1, 1 KO) in a six-round super featherweight matchup before the final fight on the undercard, an eight-round bantamweight fight between Mexicans Ivan Morales (27-0, 15 KOs) of Tijuana and Danny Flores (14-6-1, 8 KOs) of Mexico City.
Morales is the brother of Hall of Famer Erik Morales, a seven-time world champion.